The day for celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is upon us. This holiday season will find many people singing, shopping, traveling and giving thanks to God. As a Christian Life coach, I frequently hear from people who are overindulgently busy buying gifts or fearfully concerned about the high cost of the holiday season.
In either case, among the many preparations undertaken to celebrate Christmas is the repeated question “What shall I give to…?” While contemplating this very thought, one verse came to mind. It is actually part of a verse from ll Cor. 14:8- “Now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality.”
Christians realize that joy and blessings flourish in our hearts when we give to others. This year, why not take our cue from the above verse and use the abundance of talents God has given us and supply these as gifts for our holiday presents.
My daughter recently told me what she wanted for Christmas. It wasn’t what I expected because the gift she wanted wasn’t a toy but an outing to the Eloise store at the Plaza Hotel during our visit to her grandparents in New York City. Her request caused me to think about the many gifts we can give that aren’t wrapped in a box.
What aptitudes, talents and skills do you have that can be the supply for another’s need, want or just plain pleasure? I have asked myself this same question. I found ways to give to our community and continually offer my services to numerous charities that need volunteers. Recently, I had the privilege to participate with members of St. Paul’s Evangelical Lutheran Church who graciously supplied a turkey dinner for those currently homeless. It gave me great joy to serve others and witness grateful hearts.
Whether or not you have plenty of income to purchase a gift, allow yourself the opportunity to think about how you can use the talents God gave you as a gift to another? Do you sing? Wouldn’t someone you know love to hear your melodic voice? Are you handy? There are many homeowners, especially seniors and single moms who may need to have something fixed in their house and would be delighted to partake in your talents. Are you good at baking, sewing, gardening, planning, organizing, or even raking leaves? There may be someone out there who would appreciate any one of those distinctive talents.
Giving and getting a gift that comes from an act of service may be the finest gift of all. One of the best books I’ve read is called “The Five Love Languages” by Gary Chapman. He explains that each of us has a primary love language and afterwards discusses the many ways we learn to express and give love.
By being aware of a person’s love language you can acquire some very creative ideas for gift giving. These don’t require a lot of money but do entail a little time and devotion. For instance, if someone’s love language is words of confirmation, you could write or find a poem that describes the positive characteristics of that individual. Then read it out loud to them on the phone or in person. If someone feels loved by having their hand held or having their hair combed, that gift may be remembered more than any other.
Perhaps visiting a rarely seen relative or friend and spending quality time with them would be a most significant offering. This act of kindness is especially true for those in nursing homes or shut-ins. Bring your God-given singing voice, your gentle touch, your writings and your love to them and observe the meaning of Christmas in action.
Thanks to all of you who have shared your talents not only during this holiday season but all throughout the year!